Knauf manufactures gypsum boards for walls and ceilings. The mineral is ideal for these applications as it is affordable and reusable. Gypsum board panels are environmentally-friendly building materials that can be recycled into other products, such as fertilizer. This means that our waste materials do not have to be sent to a landfill.
This benefits the agricultural sector as well as the environment. Global food production and meeting the needs of a growing population are two major concerns of the 21st century. Fertilizer is commonly used to improve crops and increase the nutrients in the soil. It is made from a variety of minerals and chemicals, but gypsum can be used as a replacement for the chalk – the substance that gives fertilizer its white appearance.
Recycling gypsum into fertilizer
The recycling process is simple; the waste gypsum boards are treated to remove the paper lining and to adjust the pH of the gypsum. Then, this chalky substance is crushed and mixed with plant material, such as old leaves and grass clippings. It is then dried and the pellets of organic fertilizer are sold to farmers and homeowners looking to improve their crops and gardens.
As a natural mineral, gypsum is a source of calcium and sulphur which are both critical for plant growth. It can also help to restore the pH of acidic soils and treat aluminium toxicity. This creates better solid for crops and helps to strengthen the root systems of the plants. Another benefit of gypsum-based fertilizer is that it helps to loosen compacted soils, which promotes water absorption into the ground.
While some countries and recycling facilities consider gypsum to be a hazardous waste substance, there is growing change and acceptance of gypsum products at recycling centres. New laws have made this possible and many countries are discovering the benefits of using recycled gypsum to manufacture fertilizer, keeping it out of landfills in the process.
Knauf is a German manufacturer of gypsum plasterboard that has operations in Tanzania. We use local materials to produce high-quality drywall products for the construction industry. Knauf takes pride in the quality of products and services that we provide to customers.
We have a world-class team of researchers that have developed ecologically-sound structures and earthquake-resistant systems and materials. These construction solutions are internationally patented and are now available to Tanzanian contractors.
For more information on plaster board and other construction materials, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around construction, plasterboard and building design.